As of the middle of November, key agricultural congressional leaders working to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills were signaling, with a level of confidence, that a farm bill would be passed before the end of the year. It has taken far too long, there are far too many reforms, there are genuine and significant spending reductions, and it will solve international agricultural trade disputes. It will be one of the few actions taken by the Congress this year that achieves all of those objectives.
Oh, and by the way, next year is an election year. Members of Congress know they need to get this off of their plate.
Since the sugar provisions are the same in both the House and Senate versions, no changes are expected in our policy in the final farm bill.
Once the conference report is completed, American agriculture needs to lock arms and get this bill passed and signed by the President.
Luther Markwart, author of Dateline Washington, is executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association.